The Overlook Film Festival 2019 has come to an end on Sunday, June 2nd after bringing four days of horror films, immersive games, VR exhibitions, panels and workshops in New Orleans. The festival reached an audience of over 3000 people and hosted over 60 filmmakers, actors, and producers including Elijah Wood, Robert Rodriguez, Mick Garris, Chelsea Stardust, and Paul Scheer over the weekend.

The Overlook Features Jury; Rolling Stone’s Film/TV editor David Fear; writer, director and fashion photographer Carter Smith; and BuzzFeed News’ critic & culture writer Alison Willmore have reviewed 23 feature-length films during the festival and awarded the Overlook 2019 Jury Award to THE VAST OF NIGHT, directed by first time filmmaker Andrew Patterson, stating that the film was “An impressive work of low-budget ingenuity and watch-the-skies paranoia, as well an incredible retro riff on ‘Close Encounters’ — just a great example of how to take a genre storyline and run with it.”

The jury also awarded DACHRA as the Scariest Film of Overlook 2019, stating that “This Tunisian movie begins as an austere, impeccably framed tale of three students investigating an urban legend about a witch, before opting for full-blown Raimi-esque craziness. The fact that i’s remarkably unnerving and frightening in both modes speaks to how well it gets under your skin and stays there.”

Last but not the least, the features jury awarded an Honorable Mention to ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, directed by Shinichiro Ueda stating that “You think you’re watching an amateurish, gonzo horror movie about a crew filming a zombie movie, only to be attacked by real zombies — and then Japanese director Shinichiro Ueda flips the script and turns his hit film into a loving tribute to the art of making amateurish, gonzo horror movies. It felt like the perfect movie to see at a festival devoted to the folks who live to scare the shit of you and those of us who love them.”

Overlook 2019 Shorts Jury members were filmmaker and artist Garrett Bradley; Amy Nicholson, a filmmaker and critic for Variety, the Guardian and the Washington Post; and Jolene Pinder, Executive Director of Kartemquin Films. The shorts jury reviewed 18 films and gave the Shorts Jury Award to VALERIO’S DAY OUT, saying that “the film pushes the boundaries of horror through the lens of one carnivorous protagonist who was born to kill….what is horror to us is nature to him.”

The Scariest Short Film Award went to NOSE NOSE NOSE EYES!, directed by Jiwon Moon because “the film starts hushed but cranks up the agony with an outrageous mother performance that turns the terror up to 11.”

The Shorts Jury also awarded an Honorable Mention to UNDER COVERS, directed by Michaela Olsen.

The Feature Film Audience Award went to ONE CUT OF THE DEAD directed by Shinichiro Ueda, while the runner up went to THE VAST NIGHT directed by Andrew Patterson. The Audience Award for Short Film went to NOSE NOSE NOSE EYES!, directed by Jiwon Moon. with the runner up being SUICIDE BY SUNLIGHT directed by Nikyatu Jusu. Please see more information about award-winning films and jury members below.


Jury Award:
The Vast Of Night
Director: Andrew Patterson
Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer, Bruce Davis
United States, 2019
First-time filmmaker Andrew Patterson smashes onto the scene with the elegant telling of a 1950s radio DJ and his switchboard operator companion, who stumble upon a strange frequency that may be carrying evidence of other-worldly life.

Scariest Film:
Director: Abdelhamid Bouchnak
Cast: Yasmine Dimassi, Aziz Jbali, Bilel Slatnia, Hela Ayed
Tunisia, 2018
When a trio of Tunisian journalism students hubristically journey to a small town to solve the 25-year-old cold case of a mysteriously mutilated woman now committed to an asylum, they come upon a community packed with well-spiced secrets.

Honorable Mention:
One Cut Of The Dead
Director: Shinichiro Ueda
Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi, Hiroshi Ichihara, Syuntaro Yamazaki
Japan, 2017
In one of the year’s most crowd-pleasing surprises, this twisty horror comedy sees chaos ensue when a low-budget film crew, hard at work on a zombie flick in a WWII bunker, comes face to face with real terror lurking outside.


Short Film Jury Prize:
Valerio’s Day Out
Director: Michael Arcos
Cast: Monika Leska (narration)
United States, 2019
News reports only told one side of this escaped jaguar’s story; Valerio’s truth comes out by way of his utterly trance-inducing narration—like only the best of sympathetic serial killers.

Scariest Short:
Nose Nose Nose EYES!
Director: Jiwon Moon
Cast: Juyeong Lee, Jayeong Kim, Jungse Oh
South Korea, 2017
Mother Dearest never seemed so sweetly cruel in this horror of Grand Guignol proportions.

Honorable Mention:
Under Covers
Director: Michaela Olsen
Cast: Jade Shames (voiceover/hand model), Dylan Stephen Levers (voiceover/hand model)
United States, 2019
The unmatched artistry of this stop-motion animation runs the creative gamut with its multiple vignettes and delightfully twisted characters.

Sarah Musnicky
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